Planning To Visit The Dalma Island Abu Dhabi

A Visit to Dalma Island, Abu Dhabi

Dalma Island falls under the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. The island has deep ties with authentic Emirati culture and the history of the pearl trade. Dalma Island Abu Dhabi has been a goldmine for archaeological excavations. The island is one of the earliest places of habitation. At one point, the island used to be a ground for various trade practices. It still is. The vast arid lands are replaced with golf courses, souks and bazaars with air-conditioned malls. Despite the technological advances, Dalma Island remains a messiah of Emirati culture, offering visitors the full experience. 

History of Dalma Island, Abu Dhabi? 

During the Stone Age, the first human occupation on the island can be traced back to 7,000 years. At this time, abundant freshwater bodies attracted several traders and settlers (Bani Yas Tribe) to Dalma Island. The island had over 200 wells to supply water to Abu Dhabi until the 1950s. The main occupation of the people of the Bani Yas Tribe was pearl diving and fishing. The archaeologists have found shreds of evidence of Ubaid pottery from Mesopotamia, several stone tools, charred date stones, and animal remains, giving a deep dive into the lives of people living on Dalma Island during the Stone Age. There were around 20 archaeological sites found on the island. 

In the present time, Dalma Island is a beautified location home to old architectural structures like mosques and residences constructed in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The island is still known for pearl diving and trading. In 1880, when the pearl trade was at its apex, Dalma Island was crowded with markets. 

What Should You Check Out on Dalma Island?

What Should You Check Out on Dalma Island

Dalma Island is the perfect place to inhale authentic Emirati culture. The island can transport you back to the nineteenth and twentieth centuries despite all the modern conveniences. With architectural marvels, places to eat and stay, and once-in-a-lifetime activities ready to be explored, Dalma Island is ideal for a day out with your family and friends for two days. Here’s what you can check out when you find yourself on the island, mesmerized by the grandeur of Emirati culture. 

  • Al Muraikhi House

The Al Muraikhi House belongs to the late Mohammed Bin Jassim Al-Muraikhi. He was one of the largest pearl traders in the Gulf region. The fort-like house is among the most reputed landmarks in Dalma Island and the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. Al Muraikhi House is a testament to Emirati hospitality and honors the relationship between sailors and pearl and textile traders. The house is a significant venue for the merchants and traders involved in pearl trading. If traders found their way into neighboring countries, Al Muraikhi House was always on their itinerary. The Meeting Room in this house paved the way for pearl trading for many merchants. It has two floors. There are several smaller rooms and one big meeting room. 

The Muraikhi House was converted into a museum. The museum is filled with precious historical artifacts pertaining to the Bani Yas tribe and what foreign traders would have left.

  • Mosques

Mosques on Dalma Island are a center of attraction. Al Muraykhi, Al Dawsari and Al Muhannadi Mosques are famous on Dalma Island. Each of these mosques is an example of impeccable Persian architecture. 

  • Al Muraikhi Mosque

Muhammad bin Jasim Al Muraykhi built Al Muraikhi Mosque between the late 1800s and early 1900s. It is made of beach stone and coral and is covered in gypsum plaster. The mosque has a high level of craftsmanship in plaster decorating its windows, columns, doors, and ceiling cornices.

  • Al Dawsari Mosque

Al Dawsari Mosque was built by Rashid bin Fahd Al Dossari in 1931. It has a flat roof on the prayer hall constructed from mangrove poles and palm matting, with woven reeds covered by gypsum plaster. The mosque also has a mihrab (a niche in the wall indicating the direction of Mecca) and a minbar (a platform where the imam addresses the congregation).

  • Al Muhannadi Mosque

Al Muhannadi Mosque was built by Saeed Ali Al Muhannadi in 1946. It is the only mosque with a mihrab and minbar incorporated into a single structure. The mosque also has a high level of craftsmanship in plaster decorating its windows, columns, doors, and ceiling cornices.

  • Fishing Village

Fishing Village

Dalma Island is well known for its historical significance and the traditional fishing village that offers a glimpse into its rich maritime heritage. Fishing and pearl diving has been the main occupation of the local economy and culture since 7000 years ago. Fishing is a lifestyle for the people of this island, and the skills of the sea are handed down from one generation to the next. The locals use wooden shows, traditional sailing vessels, to venture out into the Arabian Gulf in search of a bountiful catch and provide for their families. The waters surrounding Dalma Island are diverse with marine life, making it an ideal location for fishing. The village fishermen engage in various fishing techniques, including line, net, and trap fishing, to catch a wide array of fish and other seafood, such as prawns, crabs, and lobsters. The community also practices pearl diving which is monitored by some of the biggest pearl trading companies in the world.

The village has a close-knit community of fishermen. Despite urban developments and technological advancements, the fishing village of Dalma Island remains committed to preserving its traditions. The local community takes pride in maintaining their unique fishing practices and passing them on to the younger generations ensuring the preservation of the cultural identity of their community. 

As tourism becomes more prominent on Dalma Island, the fishing community has opened its doors to visitors seeking an authentic cultural experience. You can interact with the friendly locals, learn about traditional fishing techniques, and even participate in fishing activities. One of the highlights of visiting the fishing village is the chance to savor the fresh seafood caught by the fishermen. Local restaurants and eateries offer a variety of delicious seafood dishes for you to indulge in the island’s culinary delights while enjoying the picturesque views of the turquoise bliss.

  • Dalma Island Beach

It is not a secret anymore that the island beaches are prettier and more peaceful. Jebel Dalma Beach is nothing short of a paradise for a Thalassophile. There are several water sports at your disposal. If snorkeling is on your bucket list, there is no place better than Dalma Island Beach to check it off your list. The colorful marine life of Dalma Island is worth witnessing. If water sports are not your thing, take your beach day essentials, double up on sunscreen and have a relaxing beach day with your loved ones. 

Things To Do On Dalma Island

Get Ready for an Emirati History Lesson Explore archaeological sites and ancient ruins on Dalma Island that take you a few centuries back. The Dalma Museum is an excellent starting point to learn more about the inception and survival of the island. You can visit forts and watchtowers. 

  • Get Some Sun and Sea 

Spend a relaxing day on the island’s pristine beaches, soaking up the sun and enjoying the clear turquoise waters. Swim in the gentle sea for a refreshing experience. Pack a picnic and have a delightful meal by the beach, surrounded by the serene coastal ambience and stunning views. Experience the vibrant marine life by snorkeling or diving in crystal-clear waters. Discover colorful coral reefs and various fish species that call the Arabian Gulf home. Engage in a traditional fishing trip with local fishermen on their wooden dhows and learn about their time-honored fishing techniques.

  • Sail through the best restaurants on the Island

Sail through the best restaurants on the Island.

Ensure you see the island’s speciality, fresh seafood caught by local fishermen at many restaurants and eateries. Try delectable dishes like grilled fish, prawns, and crab prepared in local Emirati flavors. Explore the diverse cuisine, which offers a blend of Middle Eastern and Asian influences. Remember to try out traditional dishes like machboos and luqaimat. 

  • A Night With Stars

Do you wish to sleep under the stars? Dalma Island has that covered too! Make sure you book a tent before you reach the island. Pack up all the essentials for a glorious night under the blanket of stars. If this is your first time camping, be prepared to experience a surreal time under the magnificent night sky of Dalma Island. 

Making Way to Dalma Island?

If you plan to appear on Dalma Island, drive to Jebel Beach. From there, you can hire a ferry that would cost you about AED 20 for adults and children above 12 and AED 100 if you plan to take your vehicle to the island. You can also fly out to Dalma Island on all days except Friday. 

Dalma Island Ticket Price and The Best Time to Visit

There is no ticket price to enter the island. You must pay for the ferry tickets, attractions and any water sports or camping adventures you want. The best time to visit Dalma Island is during the winter months since summers can get very hot. Book your ferries, hotels and other attractions beforehand so you don’t miss out on ticking off your bucket list. 


Dalma Island is a hidden gem in the heart of the Persian Gulf that offers a blend of rich history, natural beauty, and authentic cultural experiences. As you embark on your journey to this enchanting island, you will be immediately drawn to its serene ambience, a stark contrast to the bustling city life of the UAE. Uncovering the island’s historical treasures will be a journey through time, exploring ancient architecture and immersing yourself in the fishing village’s traditions. The Dalma Museum provides a fascinating insight into the island’s past and will leave you with a deep appreciation for its heritage. The pristine beaches of Dalma Island are a perfect haven for some time away from the real world. Spend blissful days lounging on the soft sands, basking in the warm sun, and taking refreshing dips in the turquoise waters.

Stay on the beach for a while to witness the marriage of the hues of pinks and oranges in the sky while the sun takes its leave for the day. Diving into marine adventures will be an absolute thrill. Snorkelling in the clear water will transport you into the beauty of the aquatic world, teeming with vibrant coral reefs and curious marine creatures. Fish with the locals on their traditional way to witness their deep connection with the sea established and passed by their forefathers. The culinary delights of Dalma Island will leave you wanting more. Savouring the fresh seafood at local restaurants marinated in true Emirati spices and rubs will make you never want to leave the island. Dalma Island will leave an indelible mark on your heart. The heritage, food and Emirati hospitality will draw you back to unearth the beauty of this island.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is Dalma Island known for?

Dalma Island is known for several archaeological sites, a fishing community and a vibrant history of pearl trading.

What time is the ship going to Dalma Island?

Several ferries are going to Dalma Island from Jebel Dhanna. You can enquire about the timing on the website of the ferry companies.

Where Is Dalma Island? What Is The History Of Dalma Island?

Dalma Island is located 40 kilometers away from Abu Dhabi. The island was where the Bani Yas tribe settled down due to abundant water sources. Dalma Island is also known for pearl trading.

Is the island suitable for a day trip?

Dalma Island is perfect for a day trip.

Are there any hotels on the island?

There are many hotels on the island.

Anupama Menon Anupama is a content writer first and an artist second. She loves to paint, whether it's through words or acrylics. She is a cinephile, obsessed with the idea of writing and directing films one day. If she suddenly pulls a Houdini, she is probably at the beach, reading.
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